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Linux & Windows on my new laptop.

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thaw^
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:55 pm    Post subject: Linux & Windows on my new laptop. Reply with quote

Hi there,

I currently bought a Toshiba A50-109 laptop. I'm planning on installing both WindowsXP and Slackware 10.1 (yes, I gave up on Gentoo). I'm not much of an expert, so could I please get a few frank opinions on this? Anybody ever done that on an A50-109?

Any comments, suggestions, any feedback at all is greatly appreciated.

thaw^
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alt.don
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You shouldn't have any issues really. Just do the normal allocation of ext2/3 and some swap space. Once done just boot off of your slack cd. You should be good to go. Seems to me though I remembered hearing that you could not use any O/S on a Toshiba other then the factory image. Don't know if that is true or not though as my laptop is a Compaq which is dual booted no probs.
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Cass
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I remembered hearing that you could not use any O/S on a Toshiba other then the factory image


Very Happy

You should be ok to dual boot a toshiba, get yourself a copy of partition magic, , resize the xp partition and then put the slack cd in and instruct the installer to nstall in the newly created blank space..... Failing this you can always use fdisk or some alternate disk managemt software and recreate a smaller windows partition then put the toshiba factory restore disk in and point it to the windows partition, its basically a ghost image so instead of selecting disk you can select partition to recover to. When this is done you can do the do with the slack cd without much trouble...

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thaw^
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!

Sounds really easy, I'll see how this works out in practice. Now I have to wait until I get the Slackware CD's I ordered Wink
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thaw^
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I have a 30Gb hd, now I'm wondering how I should split it? Are there any rules I should follow? I was thinking of splitting them 50:50 , 15Gb each. Is that okay or should I consider giving Slack more space?
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Stormhawk
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Several notes for installing Slackware (generically, and some which apply specifically to a laptop). I installed Slackware 10.1 on my Toshiba A40 Pro.

1. Partitioning
The general rule with Linux is to allocate a swap partition and at least one other partition for root. I generally go with a swap partition roughly 2 to 3 times the size of the RAM (So, 512MB if the system has 256MB RAM, 2GB if the machine has 1GB RAM, etc), then a root partition for the remaining space I wish to allocate to Linux (see the note below about Slackware package install options).

You may also wish to allocate a separate partition for your /home directory. This means that you won't lose your data and (per-user) settings if you have to reinstall for any reason. Depending on purpose you will need to choose a suitable sized partition for /home, or you may wish to just allocate a single / partition and allow /home to take up as much space as necessary (but lose the option of keeping data without making backups).

On systems where I use a separate /home I provide around 1GB per user, plus 1GB overflow. Thus, on a single user laptop I'd probably create a 2GB /home partition. On the other hand, I may not bother, leave it as a single / and make regular backups, as you should always back up data regularly in any case!

2. Filesystems
Slackware defaults to using the ReiserFS filesystem. This has the advantage of being faster and more efficient than ext2/3. The main disadvantage to this approach is that the default kernel configuration options (a vanilla kernel from http://www.kernel.org) do not include ReiserFS, though the Slackware kernel images do, of course, include ReiserFS support.

The upshot of this is that if you wish to use a 2.6 kernel with Slackware (which still ships with a 2.4, as of Slackware 10.1) you must remember to enable ReiserFS built into the kernel proper - NOT as a module.

Another downside to ReiserFS is that it is more difficult to provide access from within Windows (There exist filesystem drivers for ext2 and 3, which work within Windows. Similar projects to support ReiserFS are underway but are by no means complete, as yet). If you wish to be able to transfer files between Windows and Linux on your laptop, you would have to use FAT32 for the Windows partition, since Linux has read-only NTFS support, but write support is limited to changes to existing files, which do not alter the length of the file.

I would still recommend the use of ReiserFS for your Linux installation, however, as its benefits far outweigh its drawbacks.

3. Package Install Options
Installing the entire Slackware package set requires around 3GB disk space. Whilst this is not a lot, by todays standards, on a laptop to which only 15GB is dedicated to Linux, this is a substantial portion, and there are many tools installed using the 'Full' option which are not necessary on a laptop. It is, however, the best way to ensure that all softweare which is required on a laptop is installed, at least until you gain more experience with Linux and can determine whether a particular package is needed for your installation.

If you feel you can determine those packages which are needed, or you have the time to research every package and figure out for yourself whether you need to install it, choose the Expert mode, which lets you choose package groups, and then individual applications to install. This is by far the best way to get the smallest possible install footprint for Slackware, without missing out important software for your system.

4. Final Considerations
If you are new to Linux, or to running Linux on a laptop, these notes may be of use to you.


  • gkrellm is a useful tool for monitoring battery time, CPU temperature, fan speeds, etc
  • some special function keys which work in Windows to change some aspect of the laptops behaviour will no longer function in Linux. Often this is because they require a special driver which the manufacturer installs into Windows. It may be possible to remap some of these keys under Linux, and some which provide direct hardware interaction will work anyway (for instance, on my Toshiba laptop, the Fn+F5 key combination turns off the LCD display. This continues to work under Linux, but the keys to change the brightness of the display no longer function).
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thaw^
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I'm about to install Slackware.

My questions are:


  • Do I need to create the two linux partitions (one for / and one for swap) with Partition Magic or should I create them after I boot up wit the Slackware CD, with fdisk, therefore only using PM8 for resizing the NTFS partition (already resized)?
  • Should the partitions be logical or primary? I'm mainly asking about swap space. What's the difference, anyhow?
  • When creating an ext3 partition for / I got a warning saying that 1024 cylinders have been exceeded and I may not be able to boot.. Why is that?


Thanks for Your help.
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thaw^
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skip that, I have already finished the installation.

My problem now is.. When I reboot my laptop it automatically boots into windows..

Slackware is nowhere to be found even after F5/F8 at boot.

What am I supposed to do?!

PS. I thought of bootcfg at cmd, but, funny enough, I don't have bootfcg. :/
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cpconstantine
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

short answer:

XP has overwriten the Master Boot Record with its own.

you need to reinstall a linux multboot loader (LILO or GRUB) to the MBR, and configure it to give the XP partition as an option to boot from as well.

(the solution I'll leave to your own research or someone else, I'm in a hurry at the moment.)
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Stormhawk
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In order to rewrite the LILO-based MBR (LInux LOader), boot with your Slackware CD 1, when you get to the "login as root and run setup..." bit, login as root but do not run setup.

Instead, run the following commands, substituting hdXN with hda1, hda2, hdb2 or such, depending on which partition you installed your Linux root filesystem to.

Code:

mkdir /mnt/hdXN
mount //[b][/b]dev[b][/b]/hdXN /mnt/hdXN
chroot /mnt/hdXN
lilo
exit
umount //[b][/b]dev[b][/b]/hdXN
reboot


Now, the LILO bootloader should be installed again, and Linux will show up in the boot menu.

Appendix - Linux Partitioning Scheme
Linux (ordinarily) names drives according to the following scheme
IDE primary master == //[b][/b]dev[b][/b]/hda
IDE primary slave == //[b][/b]dev[b][/b]/hdb
IDE secondary master == //[b][/b]dev[b][/b]/hdc
IDE secondary slave == //[b][/b]dev[b][/b]/hdd

Partitions on the drive are numbered 1 through 4 for the primary, 5 onwards for logical in an extended partition.
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